The Ontario Educational Curriculum

A review for parents looking for information on education

PED 3141

What at all is a curriculum?

In simple term, this refers to the knowledge contents and the skills that students are expected to learn, the standards and objectives they are expected to meet. This includes the lessons teachers teach, assignments, projects, assessments and evaluation methods they use.

What to find here

  • How to access Ministry Curriculum Documents.
  • How the Ministry Documents are organized.
  • Key vocabulary terms and what they mean for readers (e.g., strand, expectation, levels of achievement etc.)
  • How these documents get made and who makes them Key ideas that are central to the design and implementation of curriculum documents.
  • How overall expectations, fundamental concepts and specific expectations should drive lesson design
  • How student learning in Ontario is assessed and evaluated
  • How teachers’ understanding of student learning is expected to be communicated
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Organisation of documents

Curriculum documents are organized into:

(i) Introduction


(iii)Assessment and Evaluation

(iv)Consideration for program planning

(v)Program planning considerations

(vi)Overview of grades

Terms and vocabulary used/meaning

Strand: this is the thread that holds it all together and through which each subject is looked at as a stand alone through divisions of subtopics.

Expectation:this is divided into two:overall - which describes the in general term the knowledge and skills students are expected to know and demonstrate by the each grade and specific expectation - is the material a student is expected to know in strands and unit specifically.

Achievement: is in 4 levels and as follows:

Level 1 = limited

Level 2 = some

Level 3 = considerable

Level 4 = high

Pedagogy = the method and tools teaches use to engage and interact with the students

Curriculum building, who is responsible?

Curriculum builders - Teacher's teach following the curriculum and it is the responsibility of the ministry of education to bring experts together to develop this. In building these curriculum's, these experts take into consideration the expected knowledge and skills students are to acquire and apply to their class work, tests, and other activities.

Expectation for teacher's - to develop level appropriate strategies to assist students in achieving curriculum expectations by making it knowledgeable, fun, inclusive and interactive using students strengths and different learning styles.

Assessment and evaluation

The goal of assessment basically is to help improve student learning. this can be achieved only when teacher's fully understand and embrace it.

The following practices should be used by teacher's;

  • being fair, transparent, and equitable for all students;
  • supporting all students, including those with special education needs, those who are learning the language of instruction (English or French), and those who are First Nation, Métis, or Inuit;
  • being careful in planning in relation to the curriculum expectations and learning goals and, as much as possible, to the interests, learning styles and preferences, needs, and experiences of all students;
  • clearly communicating to students and parents at the beginning of the school year or course and at other appropriate points throughout the school year or course;
  • ongoing, varied in nature, and administered over a period of time to provide multiple opportunities for students to demonstrate the full range of their learning;
  • providing ongoing descriptive feedback that is clear, specific, meaningful, and timely to support improved learning and achievement;
  • developing students’ self-assessment skills to enable them to assess their own learning, set specific goals, and plan next steps for their learning.